Monday, September 25, 2006


I finally made my pilgrimage to Yosemite National Park. John Tully and I had a few days off at the same time during the 3rd week of September so we loaded up my truck and drove across the deserted highways of mid-state Nevada. John had a friend of a friend (Gary) who lived in an old cabin inside the park (inherited from his parents). He turned out to be a very experienced climber and one of the original pioneer climbers of Yosemite. He joined us and took us climbing for the next 2 days. We climbed on some obscure granite domes in Southern Yosemite and not in the "Valley". This was a fun experience and we saw no other climbers and very little people during those two days in the Sierra mountains of California. The final day before driving home we ventured into the main Yosemite Valley where the famous formations are found such as; Half Dome and El Capitan. Impressive walls of granite indeed. We hiked up to a rock wall near Lower Yosemite Falls and climbed a route called "Commitment". It was a 450 foot route with a crux on the 3rd pitch. The climb went under a large roof and required a committing move to negotiate out and from under the roof to continue up the wall. It was exhilarating to say the least! Climbing the solid granite cracks of Yosemite is sure different than the soft sandstone of Southern Utah. I just might have to make another trek back to the "Valley" soon.

Zion Narrows 2006

During September I took the scout troop through the Zion Narrows. We had seven boys and three adult leaders. I was hoping that Marty or Eric would also join me, but because of football games and social reasons I couldn't get any of my boys to come along this time. The first storm of the season had passed through the previous day and temperatures were below normal and the river muddy from runoff, but there was no threat of rain or flash flood, so we went as planned. I had the boys go "ultra-light" with their packs. No extra clothes, no cook stoves and no tents. My pack was lighter than half of the troop with my "Wicked Lite" sleeping bag and slim Thermarest. As usual there were a couple of boys who struggled a little with the river crossings and length of the hike (16 miles). We got out late Saturday afternoon, but with several hours of sunlight to spare. I can honestly say that I wasn't the least bit sore the next day. The canyon was beautiful as ever and it was fun to challenge the boys once again.